Sonko comes to the rescue of 8-year-old girl who uses oxygen tank to breathe

By Vincent Kejitan | Wednesday, May 22nd 2019 at 09:24
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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko on Wednesday morning came to the aid of Haimanah Wairimu, an 8-year-old girl from Embakasi area, who was diagnosed with Metastatic Thyroid Carcinoma (cancer that develops from the tissues of the thyroid gland.)

Through his official Facebook page, Sonko announced that Wairimu would be flown to India for specialized treatment and his team was on hand to pick up the girl from her Komarock home early Wednesday morning.

Wairimu has been in and out of hospital for the past few years and uses an oxygen tank to breathe since her lungs are too weak.

According to her mother Miswaleh Mlalanze, problems started when her daughter was 5 and had a persistent cough that never seemed to go away.

She was often given syrups but they never yielded results. At some point, Mlalanze noticed a swelling on her daughter’s neck and immediately went to Kenyatta National Hospital for tests.

“I took her to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and after a series of tests I was told it did not have any cancer cells in it. The doctors said it was just a cyst and there was no need to remove it,” she said.

Seemingly given a clean bill of health, Wairimu went back to school and everything appeared to be normal, bar breathing problems whenever she went up the stairs.

“Last year in June is when things took a turn for the worse. I noticed Haimanah’s body growth was happening on reverse. Instead of growing in body mass she was becoming thinner and weaker to the point her brother – who was five years while she was seven years – looked much older than her,” Mlalanze told a local daily.

After further tests, Wairimu was diagnosed with pneumonia but despite medication, her condition did not improve.

At some point, she was even getting treatment for Tuberculosis but upon returning to KNH, they tested for TB and the results came out negative.

Doctors at the referral hospital decided to once again examine the lump on her neck and the news was not so good.

There were some signs of cancer and it had spread to the girl’s lungs.

They had to start treatment immediately and Mlalnaze had to sell off her property to ensure her daughter’s health was restored.

Undeterred by the complexity of the situation, Wairimu’s mum sought a second opinion from an Indian doctor who diagnosed her daughter with stage two thyroid cancer but called for quick action since it was spreading quickly.

“The doctor warned me that six months down the line she would not be able to breath even with the aid of the oxygen mask, because her lungs would have collapsed.

“He advised me to take my daughter to India to start the treatment which costs Sh5 million,” she said.

Sonko had pledged to airlift the girl to India for treatment and was at JKIA to see her off.

“As Good deeds ambassador in Kenya, this morning I fulfilled my pledge of airlifting baby Haimanah Wairimu to India for further specialized treatment…May Allah heal her,” wrote the governor.

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